Nepal Foreign Affairs (KATHMANDU, 25 October 2019) – Nepal has made a significant stride in the doing business reforms in the country and climbed 16 positions up in the global ranking.
Nepal ascended to 94 positions among 190 economies in the world from its last year’s ranking of 110, according to the World Bank’s flagship publication Doing Business 2020 report published on Thursday.
While the country had implemented zero reforms last year, this year it made four reforms to be the third best reformer in the South Asian region. India and Pakistan were the top improvers for this year in terms of doing business with four and six reforms respectively.Nepal scored 63.2 score in 100 against last year’s 59.7.
“Nepal reduced the time and cost to export and import by opening the Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Birgunj at the Nepal-India border,” read the report. “The time to import border compliance was reduced from 58 to 11 hours, while time to export border compliance was cut from 30 to 11 hours.”
According to the report, the country improved an online e-submission platform for construction permits and enhanced the quality of land administration by publishing official service standards for delivering updated cadastral maps.
“The authorities improved the commercial judicial system by introducing time standards for key court events,” it said.
However, the report said that Nepal made starting a business more difficult by introducing an online employee registration with in-person follow-up for social security.
It has also raised property transfer registration fees.
Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan all reformed in one or more areas in starting a business, dealing with construction permits and trading across borders. But Nepal missed the chance to become the top ten most improved economies while India and Pakistan both earned spots among the best improved countries.
India tops the rank in South Asia with its 63rd position followed by Bhutan 89, Nepal 94, Sri Lanka 99, Pakistan 108, the Maldives 147, Bangladesh 168 and Afghanistan 173.
The report mentions that India made the progress of obtaining a building permit more efficient, enhanced building quality control in New Delhi by strengthening professional certification requirements while importing and exporting also became easier for companies with the creation of a single electronic platform for stakeholders, upgrades to port infrastructure and improvements to electronic submission of documents.
Pakistan carried out the most reforms in the region with six improvements, including safer construction, streamlined construction permit approval, online portal allowing companies to remotely request an electrical connection and service delivery timeframes, and more transparent electricity charges.
Similarly, Bangladesh abolished the fee for certifying digital certificates which reduced the cost of starting company from 21.2 per cent to 8.7 per cent, and facilitated access to credit information by expanding the coverage of the credit bureau.
“It is encouraging to see steady implementation of reforms in South Asia. Continued and sustained progressare key to improving the domestic business climate and enabling private enterprise,” said Rita Ramalho, Senior Manager of the WB’s Global Indicators Group.
In the global scenario the best ten countries in terms of doing business are New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, the United States of America, Georgia, United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden.
Similarly, the worst economies are Somalia, Eritrea, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Congo, Chad and Timor-Leste.
Dealing with construction permits: the country made dealing with construction permits easier and less costly by reducing fees for building permits and improving the online e-submissions platform.
Getting credit: It improved access to credit information by expanding the coverage of the credit bureau.
Trading across borders: Nepal reduced the time and cost to export and import by opening the ICP in Birgunj at Nepal-India border.
Enforcing contracts: the country made enforcing contracts easier by adopting a new code of civil procedure that introduces time standards for key court events.
Land administration: Nepal improved the quality of land administration system by publishing official service standards for delivering updated cadastral maps.
Starting a business: Nepal made starting a business more difficult by requiring in-person follow-up for employee registration for social security.
Registering property: It made property registration more expensive by increasing the property transfer registration fee.